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Hellblazer #235

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2007
By: Martijn Form



Writer: Andy Diggle
Artist: Daniel Zezelj

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo


Let me get right to the point: The problem with this title is that it lacks the anti-hero John Constantine. Sure, he shows his face every now and then on the pages of this book, but in like the "Joyride" arc, he isnít the lead character here. And if you are not playing the lead in your own comic book, there is something wrong.

The stories Andy Diggle delivers are quite fun and certainly not the worst in Hellblazer history. The last arc "Joyride" contains some good dark fantasy writing, and I think Leonardo Manco is drawing his heart out for this series. He is just right for the book and is the best Hellblazer artist in years. His art provides enough fantasy world details without sacrificing the gritty rawness of the freaky world.

Thatís just what guest artist Daniel Zezelj doesnít show us in this issue. I think his work here is too abstract and bulky to really get us readers to wrap our minds around the characters. This title should be dark and moody, but there is too much black ink areas to lift this story off the ground. Even master colorist Lee Loughridge canít really squeeze in any color between Zezelj inks. A little less with the ink pot would have opened up several panels, by which the characters faces would benefit tremendously.

So if this is your first issue of Hellblazer or your first comic in general, would I recommend it to you?

Well, I think so. Itís a nice horror story with a beginning and an end all in one issue. And with the right Danny Elfman soundtrack, you can fall into a nice depressive mood while reading this.

No, the story isnít that bad, but itís fairly simple and actually quite a classic horror story: Demon is dead; Demon needs living flesh to come alive again. It's that type of story, but I had fun reading it.

Itís a solid comic. But itís got nothing to do with John Constantine. I feel that John has been on status quo too long. He has to return as the centre of attention. Hellblazer stories should be written with Constantine in mind, not just be a lovely story.

I think thatís what's been missing from this book lately. If you look at this story, it feels like Andy Diggle just got a nice short story lying around and pushed John into the lines of his script. Man, you could easily have replaced John Constanine with Dr. Strange or even the Hulk.

No, itís time Casey Seijas, Hellblazer's editor, get himself a dinner meeting with Diggle over a bowl of fresh cut chilis to spice up the next big event for John. It feels like this book has reached its limits, but even I can come up with a storyline that will stretch some Hellblazer boundaries. The only thing the creators need is fresh chilli!

For more information about this reviewer, go to www.martijnform.com



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